The official ceremony marking the acceptance by the Arab Republic of Egypt of its first three Rafales was held on July 20 at the Dassault Aviation flight test center in Istres, under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Ehab Badawy, Egyptian Ambassador to France, and in the presence of Dassault Aviation Chairman & CEO Eric Trappier.
This first delivery comes just five months after the Egyptian decision to acquire 24 Rafales (16 two-seaters and 8 single-seaters) in order to equip its Air Force with a latest-generation multirole fighter capable of meeting the country’s operational requirements and enabling Egypt, with full sovereignty, to secure its geostrategic position in the region. At the same time, an initial group of Egyptian users has been trained in France. Egyptian pilots, trained by the French Air Force, flew the first three Rafales to Cairo on the day after the ceremony.
Eric Trappier declared: «This contract constitutes a new milestone in the cooperation between Dassault Aviation and Egypt since the 1970s – more than 40 years of an exemplary partnership marked by commitment and mutual trust. After the Mirage 5, the Alpha Jet and the Mirage 2000, the Rafale is the fourth Dassault aircraft to fly in Egyptian colors, and Egypt is the first export customer for the Rafale, as it was for the Mirage 2000. We are very pleased with this partnership, which over time has shown its solidity and ensured the durability of the historical links between our two countries. On behalf of Dassault Aviation and its 8,000 employees, its partners Thales and Snecma and the 500 subcontractors, I thank the Egyptian authorities, for the trust they have placed in us once again, and also the authorities and the French armed forces, without whose support this success would not have been possible».
Specifications and performance data
|Wingspan||35.76 feet/10.90 m|
|Length||50.19 feet/15.30 m|
|Height||17.38 feet/5.30 m|
|Overall empty weight||22,000 lbs/10,000 kg class|
|Maximum Take-Off Weight (MTOW)||54,000 lbs/24,500 kg|
|Fuel (internal)||10,300 lbs/4,700 kg|
|Fuel (external)||up to 14,700 lbs/6,700 kg|
|External load||21,000 lbs/9,500 kg|
|Heavy – wet||5|
|Maximum thrust||2 × 7.5 tons|
|Limit load factors||-3.2 g / +9 g|
|Maximum speed (Low altitude)||M = 1.1/750 knots/863 mph/1,389 km/h|
|Maximum speed (High altitude)||M = 1.8/1,032 knots/1,187 mph/1,911 km/h|
|Approach speed||less than 120 knots/138 mph/222 km/h|
|Landing ground run||1,500 feet/450 m without drag-chute|
|Service ceiling||50,000 feet/15,240 m|